To the moon and beyond! Israel and UAE in joint space mission

Lunar double-landing plan is latest post-Abraham Accords partnership


View of Moon limb with Earth rising on the horizon. Footprints as an evidence of people being there or great forgery. Collage. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. /urls:

A joint space mission between Israel and the United Arabi Emirates (UAE) will land on the moon in 2024 according to newly announced plans.

The $100m project is the latest partnership between the two countries following the signing of the Abraham Accords.

Privately funded Israeli space company SpaceIL is behind the Beresheet 2 mission.

The original Beresheet mission ended in a crash landing on the moon in 2019.

In the ambitious new mission, a mothership will be launched into space to orbit the moon.

Two small spacecraft each weighing about 120kg will be fired from the orbiter onto the surface of the moon, for what would be the first lunar double landing in space exploration history.

The mothership is due to remain operational for a further five years, providing priceless scientific data.

Some of the research will focus on the effects of global warming on Earth.

Students in Israel and UAE will also be involved in a project applying mission data to calculate the exact time of the new moon, as used in both the Jewish and Muslim calendars governing when religious festivals begin and end.

A statement by SpaceIL said: “This is the first scientific-technological project to create a common history for the two peoples: the flags of Israel and the Emirates on the moon.

“It is about creating a model for cooperation between the two peoples in many aspects — technological, scientific and educational, which will deepen the connection between the countries and serve as inspiration for further cooperation between Israel and all Arab countries.”

SpaceIL chief executive Shimon Sarid: “SpaceIL has committed itself to promoting science and science education at the regional and global levels while also contributing to the processes of normalization and regional peace through collaborations with peace-loving and space-seeking countries.”

The graduate of Technion University in Haifa added: “We are pleased to cooperate with the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, hand in hand with the [Israeli] Ministry of Science and the Israel Space Agency.”

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